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Party footprints in Africa: Measuring local party presence across the continent

Accepted version
Peer-reviewed

Type

Article

Change log

Abstract

jats:pThe conventional view of Africa’s political parties holds that they are organizationally weak, with little presence at the grass roots. Yet, few studies are based on systematically collected data about more than a handful of parties or countries at any given point. In this paper, we attempt to remedy this situation, by focusing on one crucial aspect of party organization – the local presence that enables political parties to engage with and mobilize voters during and between elections – and developing the first systematic, survey-based measure of the extent of this presence across 35 countries. We draw on a wide variety of data to demonstrate the validity and reliability of this new index, and in the process showcase its ability to be calculated at a number of different levels. Finally, we illustrate its utility by applying it to a key substantive question in the literature.</jats:p>

Description

Keywords

Africa, cross-national analysis, measurement, political parties, party organization

Journal Title

Party Politics

Conference Name

Journal ISSN

1354-0688
1460-3683

Volume Title

28

Publisher

SAGE Publications